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by Clarence B. Smith, Business editor, and Jeff Harada, assistant athletic director

 

“We will be relentless in everything we do this year,” Wells said. “The only way I know how to be successful is from old-fashioned hard work. There will be times when things don’t go our way, or adversity stares us in the face. By being relentless, hopefully we can overcome whatever obstacles we are challenged with, whether it has to do with basketball, academics, family, or personal issues.”
Speed starts in the backcourt, and HPU boasts 10 guards in this year’s lineup. Three of them are at the point position. Kevin Schneider of Phoenix provides leadership and valuable Division I experience. David Moore comes from tradition-rich Kalaheo High, and his quickness and athleticism will prove invaluable to the full-court press. Freshman Johan Rivera of Puerto Rico brings an all-around game to the team and is characterized by Wells as a “floor general.”

The two-guard position is where HPU’s versatility will truly shine. Joseph Ison of Baltimore also brings Division I experience to the squad and is described by Wells as “one of the most athletic players in all of Division II basketball.”

Ryan Walker of Fountain, Colo., last season’s most improved player, brings both an accurate shot and the highest GPA to the Sea Warrior’s lineup.

“ Ryan is our most improved player from last season. His ability to shoot the ball makes him a valuable asset. He has worked very hard to increase his athleticism as well,” said Wells.
Borko Popic hails from Ontario and has a high IQ in relation to the team’s offense. Felix Gartner is a speedy guard from Germany who has an uncompromising work ethic.

Finis Harwell from Saginaw, Mich., looks to produce big numbers in his senior season. The 6-3 Harwell started 22 games last season, averaging 9.3 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the field. He also averaged 2.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest.

“ We look for Finis to have a great senior season because of his dedication and hard work in the off season,” said Wells. “He has the ability to score and he understands the game very well.”
Adam Reinking of Austin has an edge against opponents due to his versatility. Kevin Smith of Alexandria, Ky. rounds out the guard position, bringing a history of winning from Bishop Brossart High School.

The forward position at HPU should create an interesting dynamic on both offense and defense. Adam Snyder from Rocklin, Calif. doubles as an inside-outside player who can shoot the three and haunt the backboards. The 6-6 junior can score around the basket and also shoot the ball from long range.

“ Adam is a skilled inside-outside player who can shoot the three while also being crafty in the paint. He’s the guy on our team who does the dirty work,” said Wells.

Senior Derek Noyes (Denver) returns to the Sea Warrior team after sitting out last season with a shoulder injury. Noyes, who was granted an extra season by the NCAA, will provide some help at all positions.
“ Derek returns after his year off bigger, faster, and stronger,” said Wells. “He will definitely provide us with some versatility and experience.”

Brandon Lee hails from Merrillville, Ind., and according to Wells has a good work ethic and even better attitude. Rick Wilson, also from Saginaw, brings strength to the frontcourt and has a nose for the basket.

Both centerpieces of HPU’s basketball lineup pose double threats on the offensive end, and can do the dirty work of rebounding.

Audrius Peciukas is the most experienced player on HPU’s basketball team. The senior from Joniskis, Lithuania is expected to have an all-conference season. The former all-conference performer returns as the leading scorer and rebounder from last season, when he averaged 12.1 points and 8.3 rebounds. He also led the team in three-point field-goal percentage at 50 percent (15-30).

Jarrod Davis hails from Bates City, Mo., and has the ability to be a very active post player, while being skilled enough to step away from the basket.

“ Jarrod has the ability to be a very solid post player who can step away from the basket as well,” said Wells. “He has been picking up our system very well and will contribute valuable minutes to our team.”

The first game of the season is against the Schofield Military at the Mid-Pacific Institute on Nov. 9. The first game to be played at the Neal Blaisdell Center is against California Baptist University on Dec. 6.
 

 

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